Newborn Photographer Patty Othon Magically Captures the Tiniest of Babes
Photos courtesy of Patty Othon Photography
As many of us know all too well, it’s not exactly easy to get a photo of your newborn doing anything besides sleeping and eating (not that we’re complaining — it’s all pretty sweet). But between a fussy, fragile babe and an exhausted mama, there’s only so much us non-professionals are capable of. That said, of course we want to capture this precious, fleeting time in their lives.
That’s where photographer Patty Othon comes in. As a mother of six, it’s safe to say she knows a little something about wrangling little ones for photos, but Othon has also been honing her craft since high school. When she became a mom, children — and babies in particular — naturally became more of a meaningful subject, and now the Los Angeles-based photographer is known specifically for her sweetly whimsical images of newborns. In fact, you might even call her a baby whisperer for her ability to maneuver even the littlest of little ones into an awe-inducing tableaux.
As fans of her magical images, we wanted to learn a little more about Othon and her work. Recently we caught up with her to get the scoop on the secrets to her newborn-wrangling, how she got her start, and what she loves most about working with babies.
How did you end up in photography and specifically focusing on newborns as subjects?
My 20+ years as a photographer began with a film course in high school. I continued taking photographs in college, mostly for fun, with my children as the subject. I had never really considered photography as a career until my son had been signed to a talent agency, and I became his photographer. Before I knew it, I was hooked and I immersed myself into honing my skills in photography. I spent hundreds of hours gaining experience while building my portfolio, learning the business aspects before I was ready to transition my hobby into a career. Learning something new every day was and is an exciting and core value of mine. Over the years, my focus has grown into exclusively documenting expectant mothers and their beautiful babies. This passion brings me the most joy. It is my own therapeutic remedy. Newborn photography is a craft and I absolutely love creating custom, classic, and timeless heirloom imagery for families.
If you can share one secret about getting great pics of little ones, what would that be?
I prep and plan prior to the session and make sure my parents know what to expect and how to ready their little loves for their first professional photo shoot. Soothing techniques are critical to the success of a newborn session. Babies tend to sleep much more soundly if they are kept warm, have a full belly and there is white noise in the room.
We're sure you've had tons of memorable sessions, but any ones in particular stand out?
Oh this one’s tough. I’ve had so many amazing sessions over the years. I get emotionally attached to all of my clients but [the ones featured here] are some of my most requested setups and what I feel reflects my style.
What do you love most about working so closely with little ones?
The joy comes purely from capturing the innocence and beauty that is fresh, new life.